ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Cole Beasley knows little about the decades of dominance from the New England Patriots against his new team, the Buffalo Bills.
And he’s not particularly interested in it.
“I wasn’t here, I don’t care,” Beasley said.
Beasley is one of several new members of the upstart Bills who will get their first taste of what’s been a lopsided AFC East rivalry when the undefeated Bills host the undefeated Patriots this Sunday.
It will be yet another chance for the Bills to turn things around, with Buffalo already off to its first 3-0 start since 2011.
Buffalo is looking to use that youthful ignorance in its favor.
“Sometimes with young people, you study the past and you respect the past and you learn from it,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “But a lot of these guys are just focused on the present and that’s good, right?”
Focusing on the present and not the past is certainly in Buffalo’s favor when it comes to recent history against the Patriots.
New England has won 33 of its past 37 games against the Bills, dominating their division rival ever since Tom Brady took over as New England’s quarterback.
And some of those Bills wins even came when the Patriots were not at full strength; one was a meaningless season finale for the Patriots, who rested most of their starters for a half, another didn’t feature Brady as part of his “Deflategate” suspension.
Buffalo’s last “unblemished” win over the Patriots came in September 2011, when the Bills overcame a 21-0 deficit to topple New England, 34-31.
That’s a game that veteran tight end Lee Smith remembers well – though, after returning this offseason in free agency, he’s the only current Bill who was a member of that team.
“My last year here was ’14 until this year and Jerry Hughes is the only guy left,” Smith said. “So 48 months ago I left this place and now I’m back and Jerry is the only familiar face in the locker room. … The amount of success they’ve had speaks for itself. They’ve got what all of us are after. Hopefully that story changes Sunday and there’s 53 dudes who can say the same thing (that can be) said about me.”
Several Bills have little-to-no recollection of New England’s dominance over Buffalo.
“I don’t know a lot, if any, at all,” first-round defensive tackle Ed Oliver said. “I just know it’s a big game.”
“I don’t know anything about it, dude,” Beasley said. “I don’t know. It’s another game, another week, just preparing the same way we do every other week. It’s all about the process for us and we still have so many new guys on offense, I don’t know what the number is, like eight new guys on offense or something crazy. We’re just trying to figure out what we do well and what we do best.”
One main key for Buffalo will be for that new-look offense to put up points against a stingy Patriots defense. The Patriots have surrendered only 17 points through three games, ranking first in the NFL in both points and yards allowed.
“Their numbers are staggering, really, almost unheard of,” McDermott said.
Then there’s Brady, who has had Buffalo’s number throughout his career. McDermott referred to Brady as “the greatest quarterback to ever play the game,” which was a common refrain throughout the Bills locker room on Wednesday.
“You know I agree with that, come on, man,” safety Micah Hyde said. “What am I supposed to say, no? Yeah, of course. Look at his stats, look at what he’s been able to do for 20 years. He’s a beast, man. You’ve got to give him all the credit. I’m not going to be playing into my 40s, I can tell you that.”
Brady’s only losses in games against the Bills at full strength came in 2011 and in the season opener back in 2003. His 30 wins against the Bills are the most by any quarterback against a single team.
“That means he’s bound to lose another one, right?” Beasley said with a laugh.
NOTES: LB Corey Thompson is out indefinitely after undergoing ankle surgery. Bills coach Sean McDermott said Thompson should be back later this season. … RB Devin Singletary (hamstring) missed practice again on Wednesday.
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